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What’s the point here?

Hello and welcome to my musings!

My name is (in order of most recent use in the realm of thinking about video games) Zaldinar / Arella / Nick.  I have spent the last decade or so spending a fair amount of my mental energies thinking about how video games work.  I decided that at which point that I actually have time to enact some of these thoughts into a project I should be able to reference these thoughts in some sort of meaningful way.  Thus, the blog.

A bit of history is in order.  In the late 90s I was engrossed with a small Java MUD (Multi User Dungeon) called Phantasia (Which still exists at the time of this writing).  I eventually became an Apprentice (Moderator) and Wizard (Administrator) for the game.  This was the genesis of my thinking about video games in a more intense way than I think is normal.  I spent time picking apart how certain aspects of the game worked in order to better interact with the mechanics as a player.  I spent extensive time conversing with players as an Apprentice and Wizard figuring out what about the game they enjoyed, not just what seemed to work.  I spent insane amounts of time as a Wizard stalking players habits in order to provide a challenging experience for them.

Years later I passed the game on to a new set of administrators to handle, and moved on.  Around this time I picked up playing World of Warcraft, which I realized comes with its own stigmas in the gamer world in addition to the non-gamer universe.  I played a mage, and frequented the Mage community forums.  Eventually I became what is known as a TheoryCrafter, a person who analyzes the game and identifies optimal routes to take.  I spent large amounts of time researching how the game worked and meticulously documenting my methodology and results so as to be able to cite my findings legitimately to the community.  Eventually real life made me unable to spend the amount of time in game it requires to both enjoy the game and accomplish the theory aspects, and I retired from the WoW world.

There has been an idea growing in my head for several years now for what type of video game I would enjoy playing.  The end point of all this is to eventually have arranged my thoughts on different issues facing video games in such a way that lets me have a cohesive picture of what I want it to be, and make it a reality.

I am going to be citing a lot of different games in examples for issues, but I am by no means an exhaustive gamer.  I don’t run out to buy new releases, and am in no way a video game reviewer.  I think about mechanics, about concepts, about presentation.  For these purposes, just about any games will do.

So, all that said, if you are interested then by all means read!  If not, cheers, and thanks for stopping by.

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